reflecting on 23- welcoming t w e n t y. f o u r

“if the wind goes where you send it, so will I.”

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23

t w e n t y . t h r e e

I’m writing an honest, and difficult post on what 23 really looked like for me.

Last year I turned 23 in the southern part of the African continent. (details coming soon…I promise)

In a nation I never expected to explore, with a migraine stuck in hours of traffic with my head cupped between my hands staring out the window, wondering what the heck God was calling me into, if this was him at all? Looking at scales of poverty I couldn’t wrap my mind around. Thinking about all the other 23-year-old girls out there, how they might be celebrating their birthdays, around a table of friends, blowing out candles on a cute cake, in nice outfits probably heading out to a bar to drink and meet cute guys. And here I was, with a birthday looking a lot different from most other girls my age. And I can’t tell you that wasn’t hard on me, that the realities I was dealing with head on, where thoughts that probably never cross most minds, there I was in the center of. It’s a sacrifice and a blessing that is sometimes is too complex for words. 

I had so. much. doubt. Wondering if this really was God, directing me to this place, with no clear instruction, just traveling on his word GO….with my father pursuing a vision that God gave me. The funny thing is writing this moment with both tears in my eyes and a smile on my face, admiring that twenty-three year old for what she endured, and how things wouldn’t be moving in such an amazing and God ordained direction had I  not followed him at his word GO. Not even knowing that it WAS HIM, and I didn’t have to doubt, but hey, I am human! lol! 

Looking back on this moment, it almost foreshadowed the year to follow. Doubting, wondering, hoping that I was where God needed me to be, slowly knowing I was exactly there, even if I didn’t full understand it myself.

Here’s the thing, this year God called me into walking more blindly into his will for my life. He held his hand out, and asked me Devon, do you trust me? Do you really trust me with your life. I shook my head, pushing the doubts aside, grabbed on tight, and followed him time and time again into the unknown, even at times where I wanted to let go and figure it out myself, I held tight, knowing my father’s ways are higher and better than mine.

This year was possibly one of the hardest years of my life, I had to really learn how to deal with spiritual attacks, keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, all the time, learn that God never leaves us, and works ALL things out for OUR good, even the really nasty and hard situations, where we feel like saying REALLY GOD?

This year was a year of stark contrasts, of dark realities, to miracles, divine connections, provisions and expansion. This year was a contrast from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. It was a year where I had to choose over and over again to not be moved, or shaken, but to remain unshaken, and unmoved in whatever chaos life would bring my way.

It was a year of taking God at his word, and planting my feet firmly onto the promises he gives us as sons an daughters of the King. Bolding proclaiming authority in the name of Jesus over every dark attack set up to take me out, and diminish the passion within me.

My faith was so strengthened through my time being 23, God really worked everything out for good, and what started as the hardest months of my life blossomed into the most beautiful, fruitful and rewarding months where I could confidently look back and smile knowing that God DOES CARE, and DOES HAVE A PLAN, HE IS WORTHY OF OUR PRAISE AT. ALL. TIMES. HE has a plan, always.

Do you trust me? I held onto his hand as he led me out of the trenches into the valleys, climbing along the mountaintop, and finally reaching the top with the most colorful and beautiful views, where your perspective of it all begins to shift. You can stand besides him and see each lesson he walked you through along the way. I could see how each hardship strengthened my identity and my purpose, my passion and my faith, and my trust.

I could see the purpose of praising him in the “in between” those awkward transitional moments where you just have to praise him, because the victory comes through our praise, the victory of overcoming and breaking through, the breakout into new levels of identity and authority.

I stand at the top and look at my journey, each step, each tear, each smile, and frustration and see my father who lead me at his word, and spoke love and promises over me each and every step. From early mornings in Ghana, to sunsets in Kenya, petting cheetahs in South Africa, to worshipping God until 1 am with an awesome community in New York City, to long train rides in the Ukrainian countryside to the cobble stone streets in Greece, this was the year of adventure!

My life has changed so much since that day one year ago. I am so grateful for this journey that keeps unfolding each day. As I look up from the mountaintop, I can’t see far, I don’t know if I will continue to climb up, down, across, or where he sends me next, but I know adventuring with him is greater than my wildest imagination, and it is worth laying down our wants and dreams at his feet, to trade it in for what he has. That inheritance he longs to give his children, but can’t until we lay ourselves and hearts at his altar.

I find myself standing in front of others, speaking about this crazy adventure God has for you when you say YES! It’s something that isn’t new to me, but I stand there speaking with boldness and authority having really stood and test, and I KNOW that I can take my God for his word, he is faithful, he is good, he is worthy of following into the unknown, always. And that isn’t to say it isn’t easy, and you won’t sacrifice a lot, or at times everything, but it is so worth it. It is worth it all. Standing having walked through it all in such a deep and real way, a way that only God would have gotten me through, and I can stand there with a smile on my face, tell others it is worth it, to adventure and do life with God.

This year had so many amazing and beautiful moments so powerful they changed my life as I know it today. God has brought more like-minded people into my life to love and support me than ever before. People who have hearts like mine who live to see heaven on earth and inspire me daily by their walks of obedience. This year was a year that God broke my heart for the nations. Devon what do you mean… the nations? I will explain. I got to chance to travel around the world and meet so many amazing people, children and hear stories that I will hold as treasures close to my heart forever. These are the keepsakes from each trip, a story in my journal, a testimony I wrote about, a photo I have or a memory that I can see when I close my eyes.

From meeting gypsy children in the streets of Greece which propelled me to travel to Ukraine to spend time in gypsy camps which broke my heart. Heart is the word that sticks out from my time in Ukraine, God’s heart is surely found in each face of this nation.

Spending time with orphans in Kenya who completely shattered my heart and I saw such hope, love and freedom. Freedom is the word that sticks out for my time in Kenya.

My time in Ghana, with my kids, loving them, watching them blossom into future leaders of Africa, bonds that will never break and bonds that will last a lifetime. Whenever I feel down, or discouraged I look at what God has done and what he continues to do in the lives all around me, it brings a smile to my face, and instills hope into the deepest parts of my soul, it reminds me of what we are called to do. Live and love for others, the way Christ lived and loved for us. The word that sticks out for my year in Ghana was BREAKTHROUGH. This was a major year of breakthrough for me, the children, staff and project. It is amazing to watch it grow!

I went to the Call and RISE UP in DC and that weekend impacted me ways I can’t explain. wow! It was so amazing, meeting new friends and being ignited with the fire of God for this revival we will see on earth! The word that sticks out for that is NATIONS, and RISE UP.

For all the chances I got to speak the word that sticks out is PURPOSE. God has a purpose for each and every one. A story different and unique for all of us. We are each called to live higher purposes and my desire is to see a generation chase after God’s heart wholeheartedly into HIS purpose for us.

This year God really placed certain nations on my heart and he gave me such a burden for my generation.  I have a heart to see my generation passionate about God and about chasing him into the unknown, giving up everything that is keeping us from his heart, that we WOULD be a generation that would rise up into the fullness of who God is calling us to be, ignited by the fire and love of God!

For me here are the words that stick out for my growth this year.

BREAKTHROUGH. OVERCOMING. DAUGHTER AUTHORITY. NATIONS. FULLNESS. PURPOSE. DESTINY. REVIVAL. GENERATION

but the word generation rings the loudest in my ear…

23 was a year of transition, a year of hearing God on louder and clearer levels

a year of increased dreams and visions

a year of renewed passion that has ignited my soul on fire

a year of new callings

a year of heart breaking for new nations

a year of expanded vision

a year of adventure, life changes and wonderful surprises

a year to treasure

a year to remember

a year to thank God, and to never forget

a year where I grew more than I would’ve imagined.

a year that was made beautiful by many faces, stories and people God has added to my life, beautiful people I cherish.

a year where I took his hand, and followed him up to the mountaintop appreciating each beauty and the climb it took to get there.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

What if I gave up? What if I threw it away, and wanted to do life my way, because it got hard, then I wouldn’t be entering into the fullness of who I was called to be. I would have missed the blessings that followed the obedience of walking and trusting him. I would have missed the view at the top, and all the intimate conversations and times in my secret place, with new revelations that strengthened my faith.

I want to encourage everyone that God will work it out for your good, take him at his word, and follow him into the unknown, adventure with the greatest King of all, and delight in the peace that only he can offer, not the peace the world offers, the peace that will make you unshaken and unmoved in the chaos of this life.

I want to thank each and everyone reading, who made 23 so special for me, who encouraged me each step whether it was a hug, a prayer, an email or phone call. Thank you for adventuring with me, thank you for reading along the way and supporting me!

Let’s see what 24 will bring, I look forward to bringing you with me through this crazy adventure with God, who knows where I will celebrating in a year from today, what lessons I would have learned, and where my feet would have stepped!

 h e r e ‘ s

t o

t w e n t y     f o u r 

may this be another year of following God blindly into the unknown!

“I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I
So will I
So will I
If the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times”

– So Will I, Hillsong United.

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Lilian, Mary and Isaac

“I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” John 14:18

These three pictures, are the pictures of our newest additions. Our family is growing. Meet Lilian 5 years, Mary 8 years and Isaac 7 years.

Our God is faithful. I look at these pictures, as I am in New York now, and will return to meet these children very soon. I see hope, and the chance at a new life. I am looking at the leaders of tomorrow. Their futures are so bright! I’m excited to love them, to meet them, to experience life with them, as they have already changed mine.

Once abandoned, now accepted. God is good. I believe in a day where our world will have no orphans. I believe that every child deserves the right to dream, the right to a better future. I believe that children deserve the right to education, love and a family. Every child belongs in a family. It’s the way God intended it to be.

I’m asking that you join our team and staff in Ghana, and our team in the US in prayer. Would you join our PNN family in prayer? Would you lift Lilian, Mary and Isaac in prayer today. There are days when I am in Ghana, going through a lot, dealing with more than I think I can handle sometimes, and then I feel relief, and I know someone on the other side is lifting me up in prayer. Sometimes I can literally feel it. I know they will, so lets come together and lift them up.

Those three pictures remind me of this picture below. The first children to come to PNN, I love how our family is expanding. I love seeing God rescue and bring light to the darkness. Because darkness cannot win, when we choose to shine light in dark places. I love being apart of something so much bigger than myself. I love seeing God move, and bring hope to the hopeless. And lastly…

I love knowing that there are three less orphans in the world today.

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where there is light, there is life

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with my boy Edward. This boy has my heart.

lets slow down, lets take a moment to reflect.

I’m not sure if this is a personal reflection or if I am just speaking from my heart on what this past year has meant to me.

At the end of the day, when times get rough, when life throws the unexpected your way, to a point where you feel like you are drowning in sorrow, challenges and difficultly, there is light.

There is a way out, and it comes in only one true form. Jesus.

The name above all names, the name that saves, redeems, rescues, loves and forgives. The name that selflessly gave himself so that we could have eternal life. Life that so greatly surpasses the length and meaning of this life.

There is freedom in Christ. A lot of people want to believe the opposite. I have seen this freedom, I have lived in it, I have witnessed it. I have tasted its goodness. I continue to seek it, continue to enjoy this freedom in Christ. I continue to spend my life seeking his face , seeking him, getting to know him.

I have seen the most innocent lives transform finding hope, safety and love in Christ. And it is amazing. It is real. It is happening, because of Christ.

I have seen children who carried around the heaviest of burdens from experiencing abuse on every level, let it all go. I have seen the sadness and despair in their eyes turn into joy and life. Because of Christ. Because they can lay down their burdens and experiences at his feet. Those which do not determine their worth, that can be erased and renewed. Surrendering their lives into his hands. What an amazing God we have.

Hopeless lives that were set in darkness, abused, forgotten, neglected, abandoned. Yet where there is light, no darkness can hide. And there was light and life. And there will continue to be light and life. Darkness did not win, and it cannot win, if WE choose to be the light. To shed the light on darkness all around the world. To what God has called our hearts to.

Christ came so that we could live. But it doesn’t end there. We need to be an active part of bringing love and salvation to the ends of the world, to shed light on the darkness. Even if that means shedding light in the darkness of where you are now. Maybe you don’t even have to travel to get there.

Did you know that there are more slaves today than ever before in history? Most of which are children. We can choose to ignore it because it doesn’t effect our day to day. Or maybe something else touches your heart, orphans, refugees, whatever it is. I am not asking or telling you, I am just speaking from my heart. That if Christ offers freedom, hope, redemption and life wouldn’t you want to share that ?

Because where there is light, there is life.

And where there is light, darkness cannot hide.

Lets. choose. to. be. light.

Let’s make this decision every morning, renewing ourselves and our lives to Christ. Laying down ourselves at his feet to be used for his glory, in this day and age. Because we are here for such a time as this.

And where there is light, darkness cannot hide.

 

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

we were made for this

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Hello, I am back in New York! I was going to write a post about turning 23 in Africa, and reflect on some highlights of turning 22, but from a lack of wifi, and being so busy it didn’t happen. I’m home for some time before I head back to Ghana. With that being said I have been so busy this past week. The past 6 days consisted of a lot of traveling, the good thing is I loved traveling and don’t mind traffic, bumpy car rides (on red dirt paths) or long flights. Sitting in Accra traffic has done wonders to improve my patience 😉

I was traveling with my father to new places, which I will share in the right time. But this past week consisted of 7 flights, 35 hours of flying in total, countless hours of red dirt paths, and a 24 hour journey home. You would assume that we are very tired, but we had so much fun along the way and the 3 flights home (with the last being 14 hours home) didn’t seem so bad thanks to good old country music, writing in my journal, reading some awesome books and some in flight movies! One would assume that I am thrilled to be back home, which I am! But in the same excitement of being here is that it hasn’t even been one day since I arrived and I am already missing being in Africa. I know it is really hard for people to understand. And I am sure a lot of you, or others think that I am crazy and question this calling or desire to live somewhere, so different, remote or impoverished. It is the place where my heart lies, where my God created my spirit to thrive and be filled, and where my soul was created to be. I really thank God for giving me such a supportive family to encourage me and understand this calling. They make coming home so easy to always listen to me and the hardships of readjusting to life so different from what seems “normal” to me.

Maybe their understanding has to do with the fact that I spoke about this dream since I was young. Isn’t God amazing. It is almost as if he was subconsciously preparing my parents that one day it would become their reality as much as it would become my own. Before I could locate Africa on a map at the age of 7 or 8 I spoke of one day moving there and working with orphan children, even spoke of building a home for them. His ways are higher than ours, he gives us the desires of our hearts. Each unique and different from each others.

I like to see life as a journey, like I recently blogged about never exactly reaching a final destination. I see myself on this journey called life to show the same love that God my parents and family has shown me my entire life. The love that we are so undeserving of. I know I always talk about love and God’s love, but I don’t even think I can process just 1% of how much he loves us. God has given me this dream and desire to embrace the children I meet to remind them they are valued, loved and important in the eyes of God. To speak of hope and ignite the spark of excitement of becoming the future leaders of society and the world.

It is honestly very hard for me to come back home. I know how important it is that I take time to refresh, have others pray for me, speak about my experience, fundraise and see God move in my life on this side of the Atlantic. I know how draining serving others can be. On. every. single. level. For the next few days I like to take my time to readjust to everything. Something as simple as taking a hot shower, having consistent wifi and power, and not seeing my kids faces every morning and night is an adjustment. It’s hard to live in a third world country and just pop back home and be fine. Sometimes I feel like I see so much injustice and poverty, so much that it can be overwhelming, yet I see a place so close to heaven. Where I feel like I get to taste and reach out to grab it. With people and children that lack everything. But know more about God then most people I know. That trust him for everything, that know his word and sing his praises as they take joy in everything. Then I travel home and see people who have everything. And appreciate so little, and have an attitude where they want more and never seemed to be satisfied with the fleeting and material things of this world. It’s hard because I sometimes feel like not a lot of people understand where I am coming from. For those who do, who listen to my stories, who check up on me and send me words and emails of encouragement support and prayer. Thank you. So. Much. Thank you for being a shoulder to lean on, thank you for being apart of this journey.

Every single one of us is so different. I thank God for that. I never want anyone to confuse being christian with having to move to a place like Africa. No not everyone was called to live among the nations. You can make an impact and serve God in your 9 to 5 or in your hometown. We all have our own journey.

I’m on this journey to show God’s love to those marginalized, forgotten, abused, or orphaned in society. God has sent me to embrace those children in the exact place where he wanted them to feel that love, because he has a bright future for them. Because they are SO important and valued in the eyes of God. And if just one of those children knows that then through me God has changed the world. Just by reaching the heart of one.

We all have a different journey, that is what makes this world and beautiful and interesting place. We all have a heart for something unique and different. These journeys are fueled by different passions and dreams, motivations and hopes, sorrows and heart breaks. I’d encourage anyone to follow those dreams, because God is the one who gave you the desire of your heart. And if your reading this and you feel confused or lost along your path, and so desperately want to hear the voice of God and see his hands move in your life to show you the reason he created you for such a time as this then get in touch with him. Spend time with the creator of your heart, read his word, and speak to him. He is listening and he will answer you, and he wants to give you so much that this world could never give you, that the world could never fill you. Obviously this comes with a price of sacrifice and hardship, and discouragement. But we shouldn’t ever give up on our dreams, we shouldn’t ever let anyone or anything discourage us from living the life God created us to live. Because you were created to be here, for such a time as this! Don’t forget that. You. were. made. for. this!

Love Dev

writer’s block&new directions

Call it writer’s block, a busy day, whatever you want to call it. I haven’t found the words to describe past experiences, feelings, really anything.

One way I can describe it is having your heart feel full and empty at the same time. I’m not sure if anyone who is reading can relate, or maybe you can completely relate.

What I am trying to get at is the part of life that is hard, complicated, frustrating, sometimes even sad that brings you to a point where you feel like you’ve hit empty. zero. nothing.

Then on the other side, you see God’s glory and light upon your life. You see all that you have been spared from, protected from. You see a new path, and a new direction that the Lord is taking you. Sometimes I wish I could pour out my heart completely and write about everything that has made my heart to feel both empty and full at the same time. But I want to keep somethings private.

I am not perfect. I fall short everyday. I am learning as God takes me through steps now as someone placed in a position of leadership, and he shows me which ways to walk, to help remind me of my own selfishness in thinking in my small human sized brain not always understanding God’s magnificent and beautiful picture that he is painting. Recently I heard a preaching about learning “how do you know it is bad thing” basically the preaching was telling us that when things happen, moments where we find ourselves asking God why? How do we really know that it is indeed a bad thing?

We don’t know how he is molding us, shaping us, preparing us, guiding us, saving us from. He uses it all for his glory, for his purpose for our lives. Even the moments where I find myself being confronted with a feeling of being fulfilled and empty at the same time I know that God is teaching me something, my faith is being tested and strengthened.

Maybe some of you have felt this feeling before, maybe in a different way than I am. Maybe your experiences are different, but you feel a sense of sadness mixed in with your joys and countless blessings. Asking God why? Some of us pointing our fingers to him, some of us shaking our heads, some of us bowing down before him on our knees pleading God why, desperately waiting for an answer.

God answers prayers, in different ways at different times. And sometimes when bad things happen to really good people, we might never see the reason here. And sometimes we might never get the answer that we expected, wanted or could understand. Some things we will never understand. It’s part of being human, right? But to simply KNOW that the creator of heaven and earth is working things out for YOUR good is enough for me. It is enough for me to know that these feelings and experiences will pass, but his love will never fade. It WILL last forever. Just ask yourself right now, simply by thinking of your loved ones, your jobs, your money, your health your homes, friends…will any of it last forever? Is any of it guaranteed to last till tomorrow? No. None of it will last forever. I don’t want what kind of year you are having, or what is on the horizon for you?

If you are walking with the lord and things are looking good. Praise him

If you are walking with the lord and things are looking bad. Praise him

If you aren’t walking with the lord I am not here to tell you that you should, that is your decision to make, but I will tell you that when you accept Jesus into your heart and as your personal savior, believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that he died and rose again, and by his blood that was shed made a way for you to enter into an eternity with God, sparing you of death, having a relationship with him, talking to him, being comforted and knowing that you are never alone. Gives me peace, purpose and a new understanding of who my role model should be. Not looking to this world for validation, searching for something to fill that place deep inside of your being where you feel alone, sad, and unfilled. I will tell you that there is only one true thing that can “fix” or “fill” that void and it is Jesus. Always, only Jesus.

I am not sure I ended this blog in the way I was planning, just sat down to write. I guess God took this another direction than what I had originally planned. That could be another blog post on it’s own. I have tried to write these past couple of weeks but the words just didn’t come, and I never want to publish something if it is not sincere and from my heart. I don’t know what tomorrow looks like, or if my power will be on in one hour from now. I don’t know all that 2017 will throw my way, or how the enemy will try to distract, or discourage me from working in this ministry but I will promise you that you have a better chance of clinging unto God’s promises when those times come, rather than clinging to a worldly foundation that will never last, that will fade and erode away. Again, if anyone wants to talk more about anything, please do not hesitate to email me 🙂

You are all loved and appreciated, your life matters, and you were created with a purpose!

Love from a very Sunny and hot day here in Ghana!

Dev

Life Lately

We had a great weekend, we spent all day Saturday at the beach, the kids enjoyed themselves so much! So did I, one of my best beach experiences. (And I have been to the beach a countless amount of times.) Yet this one topped them all. I’ll be sharing some pics soon! Sunday we rested, chilled and watched the Artisocats before bed! Nothing like quality family time. Sometimes Mondays can be some peoples least favourite days of the week so I am adding some pics to add a smile to your day! So get ready for a bunch of behind the scenes pics 😉

Here are the pics to cover up all that time that seemed to fly by 😉

All of our small moments that I was blessed enough to capture.

So you can see what we have been up too in between the blog posts at PNN

Best told by these wonderful pics.

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I met this young girl outside a school. It was a heartbreaking moment. Am trying to do all that I can to find out where she is so she too can enrol in school, and not sit outside hopelessly. Every child deserves an education. It shouldn’t even be an option.

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This was my first morning waking up at PNN. A morning full of laughter, I am sitting with our sweet DaeDae and man can this girl keep you on your feet. She just turned 4! We celebrate her wonderful life! The first day we met she poured water down my back and smiled and laughed. I knew then I was dealing with our wild child and have been loving her ever since.

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Our little Prince helping us unpack the weekly groceries. Fresh fruits & veggies, our favourite 😉img_9100

Sammy is one of our teens, this was after a movie night and he was carrying one of the little ones home. Brotherly love.img_9103

Prosper and I after my corn rows in the summer. I wasn’t sure how I felt about them at the timeimg_9124

Paula rocking my brothers Harvard baseball cap. Seriously these kids love my baseball caps. Next stop Harvard for these kids!

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My first month with one of my best friends Desi! I thank God she was here to experience the hardest moments with me and the most amazing moments! Everything was brand new for us, the staff and the kids adjusting to their new home. This was a time we will never forget. My kids love their Auntie Desi!

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When we finally caught the infamous rooster. Don’t worry we let him free and he continues to roam around PNN.

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Then we caught one of the goats, and well that one… has never come back to visit us… I am not sure he liked being picked up 😉

After one of our lessons, one this particular day we envisioned ourselves in the future! We have BIG stars coming from this Village of Hope! The sky is the limit for these kids. img_9459

Richard and I dancing before worship night. Teaching him how to dip after a little salsa dance, because who doesn’t love to salsa? At our dance parties the kids have really grown accustom to Spanish salsa music, it is so much fun!

IMG_9463.JPGAnd a little bit of this 🙂 He has the most contagious smile and laugh. His joy is infectious to be around. We always have the most laughs and hugs together.

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Selfies from my boys! You can always expect 100s of these if you ever put your phone down!img_9819

After church style, I am not even sure what I am doing but were just relaxing in the front of my house! One of the kids favourite hang out spots to play games, listen to the radio and just chat and goof around. img_0344

What would a good wifi day be without a snapchat filter? They love the dog filter.

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These boys might not be biological brothers but it doesn’t matter. They are brothers! I love watching their amazing bond, just like the other kids. It is really amazing.img_0350

With our Prince! He is an old man in a 3 year old body. This kid is too smart for his own age, seriously he cracks us up and has the best manners ever.

Sammy and Kasme showing off their pictures with their favourite people! I love the connection and bond our kids have with our supporters and donors. It is amazing and they are able to keep in touch through FaceTime calls. Sammy loves Pastor Frank his wife Pat and daughter Christine. He seriously has such a deep connection with them it is amazing and cannot wait to see them again! Kasme to the right really bonded with my brother Alex and loves seeing his soccer pictures, and watching his highlights from his college games. He has his Harvard Soccer shirt and might just be my brother’s biggest fan (sorry mom and dad.) Kasme seriously LOVES Alex and wants to talk about him everyday. These kids remember everything about our partners, donors and supporters from their visit but these two top the cake with how much they talk about and love them!

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This is the photo Kasme is pointing to in his room! I can’t explain the love he has for Alex! He prays for him every night! Alex got him to smile and come out of his shell for the first time and ever since then he is hyper, fast passed, athletic, joyful, hard-working, good little boy self! He reminds me a lot of how Alex was as a young boy! Kasme and Alex you are both so loved by one another! I thank God Kasme has such a great role model as my brother, I have been here to see firsthand the impact my brother’s love and care has made on this young boy. I thank God he had them sit together on the Dedication day!

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Sammy and Pastor Frank! Their bond is real 🙂

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Trying on our school uniforms for the first time! Yay #backtoschool Her smile is EVERYTHING

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My PNN Family after our Sunday Church Service at Arise Chapel.

Our two sleepers, they can never get through a movie, and I always have to snap a pic! Hahaha they are too cute!img_0920

My bus buddy, even if she moves…every second! This was our first field trip:) She always rocks my shades img_0956

Girls makeup party! These girls had too much fun with the makeup. We played music, danced, did arts and crafts, laughed, talked did all the kinds of girly things girls do 🙂 I love my girls.

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Heading to church with my girl! She is too beautiful! Seriously look at that smile. This was the dress she wore on the dedication. We barely knew each other yet she reached out and just wanted to be held by me after she was held by Terry. Such a special moment holding her during the ribbon cutting ceremony. DaeDae and her Aunite Devon 🙂

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Here’s that special and beautiful moment. I’ll never forget it. I was trying to hold back my tears and DaeDae was chewing on my cloth

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Some shots from the market, stay tuned for our future projects 🙂img_1081

Boys pizza party:) Felix in the white ate 8 pieces, thats one large pie. hahah it was many of their first pizza experiences. I love my boys and being a boy mom. A lot different than our girls partyimg_1096img_1099

Visiting other homes in Ghana, this boy was too cute:) I enjoyed my chat with him. Luckily Richard was able to snap some pics so I can look back on this sweet moment.

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I will add a part two, these are small snap shots of small wonderful moments here look like!

Hope you enjoyed these small moments from behind the scenes at PNN! Happy Monday

To my father…

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My dad left Ghana this morning, after arriving a week ago to celebrate this birthday with the children and I. I am so thankful for my father’s life and the man that he is. I cannot emphasise that, or what my dad means to me. He has only shown selfless, gentle, understanding, and supportive love to me, my family and all around him. Any person who gets to know my father will truly be blessed. My father has been blessed with so many talents and gifts, he only uses them to bring glory to God and to show others by his sacrificial christ like love what it means to truly live as a christian. This doesn’t mean he is perfect, none of us are, but he does an amazing job setting an example, and placing a standard on what it means, and what it looks like to live a Christ like life.

No one quite understands my vision for PNN, or for my life better than my father. My whole life my dad was always supporting me, and not just supporting my goals, visions but he would incorporate himself into them. He would embrace them and partake in them. I do not know many parents who would fully step on board with their at the time 16 year old daughter traveling to Africa, going with her, and then deciding to start something from nothing because God had called us to do so. His compassion for these children and people we had come to know on our first trip to Ghana turned into a passion. We share the same heart, and see the same vision for where God will take PNN. I have so many amazing memories with my dad but this past week might top them all. We kind of made this full circle, our first time in Ghana was just the two of us, with nothing, no plan or idea that PNN would happen. Here we find ourselves enjoying the work that God has put on our hearts, and seeing the goodness of His faithfulness. Watching the kids play after school, helping with homework, enjoying a movie or talent show, or simply just speaking life into them. These are the kids we worked all these years for. These are the very children God has called to this place at this time. Seeing the children’s lives being changed, and seeing the way in which they responded to my father’s love, and watching them cry when he left was truly amazing. This shows us how love is more powerful than anything, it is the greatest gift from God.

I often think about what my life would look like if my father, well was not my father. I know that I might not be sitting in Ghana writing this post right now, I do not know where I would be. It makes me think about the love he has shown me my whole life. And this is simply how I see it. The love that one person can show can change a generation. My dad’s love and support for my life has enabled me to first know love, and second be able to show love. So dad I thank you for never giving up on me, for providing for me, and embracing my calling on living a very different life. Thank you for coming alongside me and being so open and willing to give more of yourself and your time than I ever deserve.

 

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